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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Calories In Alcohol

Calories in alcohol*
DrinkCalories (kcal) Food equivalent
A standard glass (175ml) of 12% wine126kcal1 Cadbury Heroes miniature bar
A pint of 5% strength beer215kcal1 packet of McCoy's salted crisps
A glass (50ml) of (17%) cream liqueur118kcal1 Milky Way bar
A standard bottle (330ml) of 5% alcopop237kcal3 Lees teacakes
A double measure (50ml) of 17.5% fortified wine65kcal1 Asda bourbon biscuit

Friday, 16 September 2016

7 Ways Sleep Boosts Your Health

Here are seven ways in which a good night's sleep can boost your health:

1. Sleep boosts immunity

If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.

2. Sleep can slim you

Sleeping less may mean you put on weight! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get seven hours of slumber.
It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).

3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than six hours a night.

4. Sleep prevents diabetes

Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes.
It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose – the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel.

5. Sleep increases sex drive

Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in sex, research shows.
Men who suffer from sleep apnoea – a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep – also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.

6. Sleep wards off heart disease

Long-standing sleep deprivation seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.

7. Sleep increases fertility

Difficulty conceiving a baby has been claimed as one of the effects of sleep deprivation, in both men and women. Apparently, regular sleep disruptions can cause trouble conceiving by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones.

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Abs and Back Toning Exercises

Stomach crunches – great for strong abs

  • 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps
Lie down on your back, knees bent and hands behind your ears. Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, raise your shoulder blades no more than 3 inches off the floor and slowly lower down. Don’t tuck your neck into your chest as you rise and don’t use your hands to pull your neck up.

Obliques – great for toning love handles

  • 1 set of 12 to 24 reps on each side
Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and together, and feet off the floor. Place your right hand behind your right ear and extend the left arm out. Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, lift your shoulder blades off the floor and curl your upper body diagonally across your chest towards your left knee and lower down.

Back raises – great for good posture

  • 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps
Lie down on your chest and place your hands by your temples or extended out in front for more of a challenge. Keeping your legs together and feet on the ground, raise your shoulders off the floor no more than 3 inches and slowly lower down. Keep a long neck and look down as you perform the exercise.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Juices, smoothies and 5 A DAY

Fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies contain a variety of vitamins that are good for our health. A small glass of fruit juice counts as one of your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
But a glass of juice should only ever be one of your portions of 5 A DAY because it doesn't contain the fibre found in whole fruits and vegetables. Have other types of fruit and vegetables for the other four (or more) portions.
Fruit juice also contains sugar that can damage teeth. It's best to drink it with a meal because this can help protect teeth. The sugars found naturally in whole fruit are less likely to cause tooth decay because the sugar is contained within the structure of the fruit.
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When fruit is juiced or blended, the sugars are released. Once released, these sugars can damage teeth, especially if you drink juice frequently. Even unsweetened fruit juice is sugary, so keep an eye on the amount of fruit juice and smoothies you consume.
The government's current advice is to limit consumption of fruit/vegetable juices and smoothies to a combined total of 150ml a day.

Just Keep Trying

As a mum over 40, keeping in shape is harder than it used to be. I weigh more now than I ever have but I am happy with that. I don't obsess about food, but I try to eat healthy most of the time. I enjoy a treat and a small amount of alcohol. Life is for living right?

Maybe life is for living but at the same time I don't want to put myself at risk from poor health due to being over weight and unhealthy.

Some days I might struggle with life in general and feel like having crisps or cake or chocolate. If that's what my body craves then I go with it. I don't beat myself up about it or skip meals to make up for it. Instead I accept that, that is what I wanted to eat at that particular time. I don't run or bike an extra 5 miles to burn it off. Instead I tell myself that I will eat healthier the rest of that day or the next day. This usually happens.

When I've had a day of eating junk my body lets me know. I feel bloated and sluggish and it is a reminder that it is ok to go off track ocassionally as long as I get 'back on track'. I don't let it get me down or beat myself up about it.

The point I am trying to make is that if you're trying to lose weight or getting fitter, then there might be times when you go off track. Accept that it is normal and you chose to do that. Get back to it and just keep trying. After all what can be worse, going off course a little or never trying in the first place?

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